The government has finally confirmed that apprentices can continue with funded training when employers use the job retention scheme, subject to being paid the apprenticeship minimum wage “for all the time they spend training”.

HMRC guidance published today (click here),  says: “Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whilst furloughed.

“However, you must pay your Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage (AMW/NLW/NMW) as appropriate for all the time they spend training. This means you must cover any shortfall between the amount you can claim for their wages through this scheme and their appropriate minimum wage.

“Guidance is available for changes in apprenticeship learning arrangements because of COVID-19.” Click here

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  1. Phil Hatton

    A step up from not saying anything but as many will have been on minimum wage employers with no income will be unable to magic money from nowhere. Is the missing 20% the off-the-job training day? To me as someone who cares deeply about apprenticeships it is a shame that the government cannot just say that rather than 80% for lower paid apprentices, they get minimum wage. Mentally apprentices will be better with a purpose and will be up for it when they can return to work.

    Many SMEs make very little profit even when they do have am income.

  2. Tina Rook

    Im absolutley appalled at the lack of support for independant training providers. In a short time we have adapted our delivery model to support and engage with learners, to now be told their salaries need topping up to continue their apprenticeship. We work in the service industry. Employers literally have zero money coming in. How do you expect employers to do that. So we now put our learners on a Break in Learning and furlough our team. So whose checking the mental wellbeing and stability of our learners, whose going to safeguarding in this time? Whose going to ensure their return?? An absolute joke!

    • Phil Hatton

      Tina is speaking on behalf of her company but there are many others who are going above and beyond at the moment only to find that their efforts for their apprentices are being thwarted. So many vocational/ service based areas with 16-18 year old apprentices have no income, only bills. They are incapable of topping up the furlough payment and depending on how long the lockdown lasts will find it difficult enough to reopen. Who knows what the behaviour of the British public will be like then? Will you be rushing to your local restaurant, hairdresser or beautician in the same way as before? Come on DFE, ensure that the 80% paid is enough to keep our apprentices in learning, protecting their mental health and futures and that our training providers can carry on. Otherwise we may find it difficult to recover.

  3. Rakia Hamdan

    As an employer provider if you furlough apprentice can they still continue training? Employer providers still draw down levy which is revenue and this revenue of produced from apprentice still in training. Could someone let me know if they are furloughed they should not continue training and as a employer provider stop claiming funds